EBBA-AR - Handling and Disposing of Contaminated Fluids
Health Division information about the transmission of diseases including AIDS and Hepatitis B focuses on “body fluids” as a possible carrier of organisms that can infect others. The term includes drainage from cuts and scrapes, vomit, urine, feces, respiratory secretions (nasal discharge), saliva, semen and blood. While any contact with the body fluids of another person represents a risk, the level of risk is very low. The risk is increased if the fluid comes in contact with a break in the skin of another individual. Generally, simple, consistent standards and procedures of cleanliness minimize risk.
The following procedures are precautionary measures against the transmission of diseases. Prudent actions are to be employed by all staff and students. These actions should focus primarily on steps that staff members can take to ensure their own well-being.
Those who administer first aid, provide physical care or may otherwise incur occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials as determined by the district will be specifically protected through the district’s exposure control plan.
The procedures, however, are a review for all staff and students of appropriate hygienic and sanitation practices.
- Standard precautions are to be followed at all times. Standard precautions require the assumption that staff and students approach infection control as if all direct contact with human blood and body fluids is known to be infectious for HIV, HBV and/or other bloodborne pathogens.
- Whenever possible, students should be directed to care for their own minor bleeding injury. This includes encouraging students to apply their own bandaids. If assistance is required, bandaids may be applied after removal of gloves if caregiver will not come into contact with blood or wound drainage.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved gloves are required for all tasks in which an individual may come into contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Such tasks include cleaning body fluid spills, emptying trash cans, handling sharps/containers, handling contaminated broken glass, cleaning contaminated equipment and handling contaminated laundry/clothing. This also includes assisting with any minor wound care, treating bloody noses, handling clothes soiled by incontinence, diaper changing and cleaning up vomit.
- Complete and effective hand washing with soap and running water of at least thirty (30) seconds duration should follow any first aid or health care given a student or contact with potentially infectious materials.
- If exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials occurs through coughing, any first-aid procedure, or through an open sore or break in the skin, thorough washing, preferably with germicidal soap, is necessary.
- In the event handwashing facilities are not readily available, thorough cleaning using an antiseptic cleanser and clean cloth/paper towels or antiseptic towelettes provided by the district as an alternative is necessary. In the event alternatives are used, hands must be washed with soap and running water as soon as feasible.
- Any surface contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials must be cleaned after each use and at the end of the day with soap and water and then rinsed with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)* approved disinfectant following labeling instructions for use and allowed to air dry. Other disinfectants as recommended by the Center for Disease Control may be used. These surfaces include equipment, counters, mats (including those used in physical education and athletic events) or changing tables.
- An EPA approved disinfectant must be used when cleaning fluids such as blood or vomit from the floor or other such contaminated surfaces.
- Contaminated laundry such as clothing and towels must be placed and transported in bags and containers in accordance with the district’s standard precautions. All such items must be laundered in hot or cold water and soap and placed in a dryer.
- Needles, syringes, broken glassware and other sharp objects found on district property must not be picked up by students at any time, nor by staff without appropriate puncture-proof gloves or mechanical device such as a broom, brush and dust pan. Any such items found must be disposed of in closable puncture resistant, leakproof containers that are appropriately labeled or color-coded.
- All wastebaskets used to dispose of potentially infectious materials must be lined with a plastic bag liner that is changed daily.
- Gloves and repellent gowns, aprons or jackets are required for tasks in which exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials can be reasonably anticipated to contaminate street clothing. Type and characteristics of such protective clothing will depend on the task. Such tasks may include diapering/toileting with gross contamination, assisting with wound care, sorting or bagging contaminated laundry/clothing and disposing of regulated waste with gross contamination.
- Maximum protection with gloves, face and/or eye protection and gowns are required whenever splashes, spray, spatter or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials may be generated and eye, nose or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated. Such tasks may include feeding a student with a history of spitting or forceful vomiting and assisting with severe injury and wound with spurting blood.
The following additional precautions should be applied in all school settings. These procedures will help prevent transmission of many infections in addition to HIV and HBV:
- A sink with soap, hot and cold running water and disposable towels should be available close to the classroom;
- Sharing of personal toilet articles, such as toothbrushes and razors, should not be permitted;
- Skin lesions that may ooze blood or serum should be kept covered with a dressing;
- Exchange of saliva by kissing on the mouth, by sharing items that have been mouthed and by putting fingers in others’ mouths should be discouraged.
[*] Disinfectants which can be used include Lysol, Purex, Clorox, Tough Act bathroom cleaner, Dow bathroom cleaner, Real Pine liquid cleaner, Pine Sol, Spic and Span, Tackle liquid, Comet and other products with EPA numbers.